Today’s release of a parliamentary report into the WorkCover Authority proves that the State Government was far too harsh in its cuts to rights and entitlements for sick and injured workers in 2012.

The report notes the Scheme’s improving budget position – something Unions NSW always predicted- and calls for restoration of lifetime medical benefits for hearing aides, prosthesis and home and vehicle modifications. 

Unions have welcomed the recommendation but called for its extension to all medical expenses.

“Today’s report reinforces what we said in 2012, the cuts to workers compensation were cruel and over the top,” Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Lennon said.

“While we welcome the recommendation to restore some rights and entitlements, it doesn’t go far enough. Sick and injured workers are among the most vulnerable people in our community.”

The report also calls for reforms that would limit the ability of insurers to frustrate rehabilitation and return to work.

It also recommends that injured workers should be able to directly engage their own lawyers to assess their work capacity. Until now this has been the domain of insurers and employers.

“The cornerstone of reforming workers compensation must be restoring dignity to sick and injured workers. These people have had their lives turned upside down by the State Government. Giving them some respect is absolutely vital.”

 

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